People walk along a street, in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, June 26, 2021. Almost a year after face masks became mandatory indoors and outdoors in Spain, people from Saturday are no longer required to wear them outside as long as they can stay at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Don’t throw your masks away yet.
In a joint statement Friday, seven Bay Area counties recommend that all residents, regardless of vaccination status, wear face coverings indoors as the delta variant spreads and fuels a rise in COVID-19 cases.
The counties include Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma. The City of Berkeley, which has its own health department, joined the counties in making the recommendation.
“Out of an abundance of caution, people are recommended to wear masks indoors in settings like grocery or retail stores, theaters, and family entertainment centers, even if they are fully vaccinated as an added layer of protection for unvaccinated residents,” the joint statement reads.
The request comes one day after Los Angeles reinstated an indoor mask mandate, regardless of vaccination status.
“Businesses are urged to adopt universal masking requirements for customers entering indoor areas of their businesses to provide better protection to their employees and customers,” the statement continued.
San Francisco Department of Public Health went to social media to spread the masking message.
Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and increased circulation of the highly transmissible delta variant, masks are now recommended indoors for everyone regardless of vaccination status. 😷 #MaskUpSF
— SFDPH (@SF_DPH) July 16, 2021
“The drastic increase in cases is concerning – as is the number of people choosing not to get vaccinated,” said Sacramento County Public Health Officer Olivia Kasirye. “Our best protection against COVID-19 continues to be the vaccine. We urge all eligible residents to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves, and their family and friends.”